Maykl Krayton

Maykl Krayton

American science fiction writer and screenwriter.
Date of Birth: 23.10.1942
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Michael Crichton
  2. Early Writing Career
  3. Breakthrough and Success

Biography of Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton was an American science fiction writer and screenwriter. He was born on October 23, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York, on Long Island. His father worked for a magazine and his mother was a homemaker. Crichton attended Roslyn High School, where he played basketball, and later enrolled at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, majoring in English literature. However, his writing style often received criticism from professors and he consistently received low grades. One day, he submitted an essay by George Orwell as his own work, which earned him a high mark. This experience made Crichton realize that Harvard was not the right fit for him.

In 1964, after graduating from Harvard with average grades, Crichton decided to change his field of interest and pursue anthropology at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He excelled in his studies and was awarded a year-long trip to Europe and North Africa for his academic achievements in 1965. Upon returning to the US, Crichton shifted his interests again and decided to become a doctor. He obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1969 and briefly worked at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. However, he ultimately chose to pursue a career as a professional writer instead of practicing medicine.

Early Writing Career

Crichton sold his first piece of writing, travel sketches, to The New York Times at the age of 14. He further explored writing during his time at Harvard, and in the mid-1960s, he began writing crime novels under the pseudonyms Jeffrey Hudson and John Lange to support his studies. One of these novels, "Odds On," won the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1968. Another book, "The Andromeda Strain," became his first science fiction novel published under his own name in 1969, and it was later adapted into a film after two years. In the early 1970s, Crichton shifted his focus to a career in screenwriting and directing. His fifth film, "Westworld," achieved moderate success. The movie depicted a future where people vacation in a giant park reminiscent of Disneyland, populated by lifelike robots. The plot revolves around one malfunctioning cowboy robot who starts hunting humans. "Westworld" was one of the first films to use digital image processing for special effects.

Breakthrough and Success

Crichton gained worldwide fame in 1993 when blockbuster films based on his novels, "Jurassic Park" (1990) and "Rising Sun" (1991), were released. These adaptations reignited interest in his previous works, and "Jurassic Park" spent almost a year on the bestseller lists in the US, with a total circulation nearing 7 million copies. In the same year, Crichton was recognized as the most popular writer in the US. By the beginning of 1998, he ranked fourth on the list of the wealthiest figures in the entertainment industry, with a net worth of $102 million. To date, his books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.

In addition to his writing career, Crichton was involved in various other ventures. He was the founder of the software company FilmTrack and later established Timeline Studios, a company focused on producing video games based on his novels. Crichton was an art collector, specializing in contemporary art, and wrote a serious monograph on leading pop artist Jasper Johns. He also published articles on science in various magazines and anthologies. Crichton experimented with extrasensory perception, participated in spiritualist seances, observed human auras, attempted spoon bending, and even conducted exorcism sessions. In 2000, a new species of ankylosaur was named "Bienosaurus crichtoni" in his honor, and three years later, a armored dinosaur called "Crichtonsaurus bohlini" was also named after him.

Michael Crichton resided in Santa Monica, California, and was married three times to Joan Radam, Kathy St. Johns, and Anne-Marie Martin. He had a daughter named Taylor, born in 1988. Crichton passed away on November 4, 2008, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of literature and entertainment.